Access and allocation in fisheries: The Australian experience

McShane, Paul, Knuckey, Ian, and Sen, Sevaly (2021) Access and allocation in fisheries: The Australian experience. Marine Policy, 132. 104702.

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In fisheries management, decisions regarding access (which users can fish) and allocation (what share of the resource they can use) often raise issues of justice, fairness and equity. In Australia, ecologically sustainable development (ESD) has been prioritised in fisheries legislation, policy, and management. However, the desired optimal community outcomes arising from determination of access and allocation are difficult to ascertain as few metrics of economic or social benefits are available. Here, we interviewed fishery managers and other prominent stakeholders responsible for advising Australian state, territory, and Commonwealth governments on access and allocation. This information was augmented with reviews of available information and case study analyses. Whereas access and allocation are highly constrained for commercial fishers, this is much less so for recreational and Indigenous fishers. Relatively high participation rates for recreational fishers command high implicit social value reflected in political power and commercial fishing is prohibited near major population centres in most Australian jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions, such as South and Western Australia, have explicit access and allocation policies, with shares of popular species such as rock lobster, abalone, and snapper allocated to the recreational and Indigenous sectors. Allocations to the commercial sector and, when applicable to the recreational sector, generally reflect estimates of their catch history rather than an evaluation of optimal benefits. Furthermore, allocation among jurisdictions is inconsistent and seemingly reflective of political rather than economic decision making. Strategic intent exists in many jurisdictions to incorporate social value into allocation decision making. However, few social metrics exist in management plans and these factors are rarely considered in formal access and allocation decisions. Thus, determining the best use of fisheries resources remains elusive in Australia and the utility of ESD and its application to sustainable fishery management and optimal community benefit remains unresolved.

Item ID: 70085
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9460
Keywords: Access, Allocation, Australia, Commercial fisheries, Ecologically sustainable development, Indigenous fisheries, Recreational fisheries
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2022 00:48
Downloads: Total: 1
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